Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
14 Feb, 2015 | 11:47 am
New Zealand started off their ICC World Cup campaign on a positive note with a 96 run victory over Sri Lanka in Christchurch on Saturday.
Put into bat in hosts New Zealand got off to an impressive start with openers Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill putting on a 111 run stand for the first wicket. McCullum scored his 28th half century inclusive of 10 boundaries and a six. He was finally undone when he was caught in the deep off the bowling of Rangana Herath for 65.
Martin Guptill fell one run short of a half century as he was dismissed by Suranga Lakmal. Kane Williamson continued his good form with the willow and went on to score the second half century of the kiwi innings.However Williamson fell soon after scoring his half century to the bowling off Jeevan Mendis. Ross Taylor was stumped off the very next delivery for just 14 runs.
Big hitting Corey Anderson came to the crease thereafter and made a swashbuckling 75 off 46 balls before being undone in the final delivery of the kiwi innings. The hosts posted 331 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka were sloppy on the field today and missed some very simple catches, providing extra lives to key players such as Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson, both of whom went on to score half centuries. The pace attack of Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga leaked runs at every instance on which they were given the ball, they ended up with economy rates of 9.79 and 8.4 respectively. Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis bagged 2 wickets a piece for Sri Lanka.
Lankan openers Lahiru Thirimanne and T.M.Dilshan gave the visitors a steady start with an opening stand of 67 runs. Dilshan was the first to fall as he was caught and bowled by Daniel Vettori.
Thirimanne who scored his 11th ODI half Century today was the next to fall as he was bowled by Trent Boult. Mahela Jayawardene did not trouble the scores today while Kumar Sangakkara managed to score 39 runs before being undone.
The Sri Lankan middle order which has failed to perform consistently over the past few months crumbled once again like a house of cards and Sri Lanka were bowled out for 233 runs in 46.1 overs. Skipper Angelo Mathews fought a solitary battle in the middle order with a knock of 46.
Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Daniel Vettori and Corey Anderson bagged 2 wickets a piece. Anderson also walked away with the man of the match award.
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